Pinworm, a small, ivory color, infectious and contagious parasite, grows in small intestine and cause excessive itching in the anal or the vaginal areas. This infection spreads through contaminated hands, food, water, dust, infected air and also other commonly used surfaces like bed linens, toilet seats, utensils, bath room fixtures, clothes, walls and carpets.
The eggs of a pinworm can be passed from the infected person to another victim. Loss of appetite, stomach aches, nervousness, irritability, insomnia, bed wetting, nausea and vomiting are some of the symptoms of the pinworm infection.
Over the counter medications are available in various forms like tonics, chewable tablets and pills. To treat pinworm infection, an anti-worm medication, usually mebendazole (Vermox) or pyrantel pamoate (Antiminth, Combantrin) can be purchased over the counter. The table is taken twice; the second tablet is repeated two weeks after the first tablet is consumed. Soothing creams or ointments can help to bring down the itching sensation. Though the anti-worm tablet takes care of the infection, itching may persist for a week even after the medicine is consumed.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women, and young children less than two years of age are advised not to take over the counter medications for pinworm as only a physician can advice about the risks and benefits of the medications. It is also advisable for the entire family to take precautions, especially in the case of a recurrent infection.
Frequent hand washing, self care and hygiene, and routine household cleaning can reduce the spread of the worm infection. It is also advised to not share the bed, clothing and toilets of the infected person and if possible, you should avoid contact with the infected person as far as possible to reduce the risk of infection.
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